There are approximately 43 million refugees in the world. Refugees are people who have been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster. 41% of the world’s refugees are children.
Teaching Time: 15 minutes
Materials: paper, pens/pencils, 5 pieces of yarn or string, tape, scissors, picture or drawing of a child
Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle, creating two columns. At the top of the first column write “Voluntary.” At the top of the second column write “Involuntary.” Think of reasons why people leave their homes. Did the people choose (voluntary) to leave or were they forced (involuntary) to leave? Write the reason in the corresponding column. Keep going until you can’t think of any more reasons.
Next, take a small sheet of paper and draw a picture of a child. Attach five pieces of yarn or string to the top of the paper with tape. Tape the other ends of the strings to the edge of a table or a ledge where the drawing can hang. Be sure to spread out the strings when you attach them to the ledge. You need enough space between the strings so you can easily cut one string at a time. When children are forced to leave their home and become refugees, they suffer loss. They lose their home and family structure. Cut one string. They lose good medical care. Cut one string. They lose access to education. Cut one string. They can lose access to food and water. Cut another string. They lose their safety. Cut the last string. At this point, all the strings have been cut and the child should fall. When children suffers all of these losses, everything that is familiar to them has been cut away. They often feel hopeless about their future.
Read Jeremiah 29:11-13 together. God loves all people and cares about their needs. God promises hope and purpose for all refugees who seek Him. Place the picture of the child in your Bible at Jeremiah 29:11-13. This week, pray that refugee children will find hope and goodness in Jesus.
- Have you ever had to move or spend a long time away from home? What made it difficult? What made it easy?
- Read Psalm 62:8. Whether a child leaves his home voluntarily or involuntarily, who can he turn to?
Pray that refugees would place their hope in Jesus and find their safety in Him.